I just returned from a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat from Dec 21st, 2012, to Jan 2nd, 2013, ending one era and beginning another. Other amazing wildlife in the Malaysian jungle surroundings included a one-foot long black scorpion, a lizard the size of a cat, and tropical toucan birds (like on fruit loops, yum!).
I love the power of words and this experience has sharpened my habit of speech so that I may use it positively and powerfully. When I was 14, I was very attached to an online video game called Final Fantasy XI (same type of game as World of Warcraft, so you know it was addicting). As I sat in this pool of rage, I wondered why would this infinite being of love and compassion put anyone through any experience of pain or suffering. Luckily I have grown in wisdom and clarity enough to watch all of this happen with a degree of clarity. Once I returned from madness I began to understand more clearly that it was my own choice to harbor such ill-will towards something beyond my comprehension. During the meditations, with the understanding of anicca, the understanding of impermanence, I calmed the mind into an extremely peaceful and content state of awareness.
During the few times that I reached a deep equanimus state of mind, I lost most of the feeling of my body, and became very light. The goal of daily Vipassana practice is to bring forth this equanimity of mind into daily life, where it can be extremely valuable in any situation.  We all face tough problems, difficult conversations, and unexpected crises, but from this state of mind, anyone can triumph. Vipassana is the second technique of meditation that I have discovered which offers a practical and scientific path towards a personal experience of our Higher Consciousness. My path has been that of Kriya Yoga, which is a meditation technique of controlling the breath in a certain way in order to manipulate subtle energy within the body. All religions are good to the degree that they invoke genuine moral behavior within their followers. Tomorrow’s universal religion will not be of empty rites, rituals, ceremonies, and fluff.
As our society evolves mentally and spiritually, we will all come to this most logical conclusion.
I seriously thought about it a lot and how much faster this life would take me to the end goal. My path and technique of practice was established years ago already and I will continue with Kriya Yoga. Vipassana is not my path, but it helped me understand first hand the core truth of the Buddha. For best results, read Paramahansa Yogananda’s book FIRST and then you can also view more information online with the links below. In this MicroCourse I share with you the exact technique I use to  connect with my spiritual guides and Higher Being while writing my entire book, From Your Higher Being. Lastly, I’ve put together a playlist of videos on youtube that I listen to daily, that I think will help you through hard times, as it has me so often.
I came across your blog at a time when I was looking for feedback on Dhamma Malaya and especially on its legitimacy, given the number of doubtful organizations you can find in the domain of life improvement. I personally did not get to master the entirety of the technique during these 10 days but I realized I came very close to that goal. However, one evening, I had a glimpse of what enlightenment could look like, feeling very light, full of love and seeing how beautiful the world looked at that time. I suspect this is the mind, which is so so bored by the many hours of meditation, that it goes wherever it can to disctract itself from the dreaded emptiness. You may listen this Free Vipassana Meditation MP3 teaching from a guru who have 30 years experience.
Hi, the posts from everyone here are extremely valuable for me as I prepare myself to go on to my first Vipassana in next few days. I don’t practice Vipassana meditation, leaning towards more concentration-based techniques instead, but I think vipassana is an excellent meditation technique for beginners and everyone should do a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. I’d been trying to crack the premise for The Seeker for a couple of years but wasn’t making much progress despite many fits and starts. I’m not a particularly emotional person but I found myself in tears on the tenth day of the course struck suddenly by the knowledge that all ten days were paid for by people’s generosity. As I said, I don’t practice vipassana meditation since the technique of observing the breath is a little too dry for me.
Westerners often find Buddhist philosophy with its assertive “life is dukkha” declaration pessimistic. I find focusing on parts of my body (say, starting from my fgeet, to my knees to my thighs to my arms to my chest to my face and then to my whole body) helps.
As an average 29 year old male with no spiritual background and no religious affiliation, I went into the 10 day retreat curious but also fairly skeptical. I had decided to do the course on a whim, figuring that it would be a slightly weird and interesting experience. Vipassana is meant to be a method of progressively teaching your brain increased focus, self awareness and control. The first step was learning to develop our faculty of attention through focusing on our natural breathing. I found myself standing in the bush at the end of day one, overwhelmed, tears forming, with no idea why I was so upset.
The second step is to use your newfound focus to progressively become aware of your body sensations. I will leave the rest as a surprise, because the second part of the course is something that doesn’t lend itself well to pre-framing.
Overall, I found the retreat to be more of a personal development course than it was a hippie meditation camp. While the 10 days were without a doubt the most challenging I have faced in recent times, they were also the most rewarding.
Garrick Transell is the founder and head writer at Hidden Social Language. Formerly of the health and fitness industry, Garrick founded the Hidden Social Language as a way to bridge the gap, and improve understanding, between men and women. At Earth Spirit Yoga we provide an opportunity for personal change which allows for a potent and tangible insight into our own true capabilities and potential.
We can access the part of ourselves that is free of doubt and fear and release an extraordinary force within that is omnipresent and capable of liberation and transformation. If you have the courage to blast through the shackles of your own mind and perception then join us in Peru and Bolivia. At Earth Spirit Yoga we have designed our retreats & expeditions integrating a multitude of powerful experiences to create focussed, profound and life changing journeys for all who want to a€?thrive and excela€™. We have two decades of experience working with powerful high profile traditional spiritual leaders, wisdom keepers and medicine people and a decade of facilitating our Wisdom Keepers Retreats & Expeditions in South America.
We have the skills, knowledge, wisdom and the necessary vital connections and relationships to offer a professional and complete service.
Due to demand we have expanded our range of powerfully transformational retreats & expeditions in South America to meet the needs of our clients.
With a decade of experience our ceremonies are extremely safe, well orchestrated and refined.
Earth Spirit Yoga works exclusively with traditional native Medicine People with whom we have a long standing relationship. Yes, this was the end of a world within me as I took a 10 day vow of silence and submitted my will to a full 10-hour per day meditation regime. The insight is that if you develop a genuine curiosity for life around you in any given moment, you will never be bored again.

Light conversation is fine and all, but speaking for the sake of speaking is a negative symptom of a person who has been so trapped by their monkey mind that they can not even imagine silence. I developed such an aversion to the pain that it caused a deep fiery rage to burn within me.
To understand the mind of God is beyond my current level of wisdom, yet I still lashed out with such rage.
Throughout the course we are reminded to understand, to watch and see, that everything is temporary. This understanding liberates the mind from conditioned suffering so that we may make a new choice, from a new state of mind, a balanced state of mind. To be in alignment with that truth is to automatically live in perfect happiness, balanced harmony, and true success. This state of being has many names such as enlightenment, awakening, nirvana, self-realization, oneness with God, etc. The result is a high degree of concentration which is used to move into higher states of awareness leading towards realization of the Infinite Self.
On the other hand, all religions are dangerous to the degree that they spread misguided truth and maintain ignorance. However, I have many responsibilities and also too many desires to experience the wonderful pleasures of the world. I have been an old student in Vipassana by S N Goenka for some time now and can so well connect to your experiences and observations. No matter what else may get in the way, save your vacation time, save your money, put this first.
Afterwards, it took me a while to gather the will and time to attend a session myself but I finally did, and discovered a very powerful technique that will certainly have a strong effect in my life as well. As far as other students were concerned, some were still half-way and some did it in one shot: during our silent times, I had not realized how many different experiences there could be for different people! It didn’t last and taught me the hard way the law of universal impermanence, but this vision made my objective clearer and gave me more strength to go on along the path of Vipassana! Learning a technique that allows us to get liberated from mental and physical pain is really worth spending 10 days in outer world.
It is really great that spirituality and meditation is being experienced by people all around the world. They conduct retreats all around the world, including in Thailand, which is one of the most beautiful experiences, ever.
Dharma (or Dhamma) became my lifestyle but during Vipassana I got huge kick in my a*ss to practice regularly and more seriously.
Make no mistake; this ten-day course will be among the most demanding endeavors of your life (see the rigorous daily schedule here).
Then, Kerry and I stopped in Dhamma Atala, the Vipassana center in Italy, while backpacking from Europe to India during our sabbatical. Yet, I credit the first vipassana course I did almost fifteen years ago in Dharamsala as the foundation of my spiritual life.
We’re all cut from the same cloth, a couple of shades different from the world of men and hobbits. And if this inspires you to meditate, don’t forget to sign up for my free meditation video course, Kerry’s nutrition guide, and a free preview of three chapters of The Yoga of Max’s Discontent here.
Perhaps you could try less concentration-based and more awareness based techniques instead? Spending our time in pure Dhamma, purifies our mind and makes us more clear in our decision-making. I had done when i was 20, now after 3 years after practicing on my own, i want to go for a second time. I feel that meditation will be of help but my concentration is weak I get disturbed even by the slightest noise. Please update your browser for faster browsing, better site experience, and improved security. I didn’t really know what to expect but it was something along the lines of hippies hugging trees (and each other), woo-sah, peace and love and all that jazz. This craving attaches you to the outcome and causes stress (because things never quite go the way you plan).
You sit without shifting for two hours at a time trying to feel (and not react to) the pain in your legs, knees and back. While the hunger pangs went away after a few days, letting go of control over my food took a little longer. It taught me the most valuable life skill that I currently possess, promoting my ongoing growth and development. The mental clarity and life perspective I have gained is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
Their five minute articles cover the Psychology of Relationships, the Science of Happiness and the Skills of Charisma.
They are held in locations all over the world, but the specific one I attended was in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Locations include the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, the magnificent Andes mountains, the Sacred Valley of the Inka and the very stunning Lake Titicaca. They cleanse, purify, regenerate, energise and transform our very being to enable us to heal our bodies and minds and connect more deeply with our own inner knowledge, wisdom and power. They carry the wisdom and power of an unbroken and impeccable lineage as the health and well being of clients is essential.
They were wonderful memories of adventure, laughter, accomplishment, and it was all super fun.
At first the thoughts were so random, but then became a leading theme throughout the retreat. My goal here was to meditate, be peaceful, go within, and ultimately grow closer to God, but instead here I am in such pain that I can not even focus for 5 seconds. Once I accepted the fact that right now, in this moment, I do not comprehend everything, then everything became easier.
All situations, people, pleasures, pains, and sensations rise and fall from our experience of them. The pain of the body is nullified by the pure understanding of the way things are in this moment. Additionally, all cravings for pleasurable sensations, like peace, bliss, or ecstasy (which occur naturally in this state of meditation) do not arise to cause misery producing attachment. It is the highest state, the highest experience, and the highest purpose of every human being alive.
Entering permanent realization, or nirvana, this ended all of his suffering and filled him with such loving compassion for those left in ignorance of their true nature. It will be simply known as the right way to do things in accordance with the laws of nature. That does not mean that meditation practice for liberation is not something a house-holder can do. I will continue to walk forth with a mind of equanimity, developing my compassion, and sharing this beautiful truth of life with everyone with ears to hear. It still needs regular practice to get consolidated in the real world but the base has been set to build a happier, more peaceful life on top of it. I am glad you had such a positive experience and were able to resume meditating more often.

Just sitting with your spine erect for eleven hours a day can be a challenge, now add complete silence and two sparse meals a day to it, and you’re guaranteed some level of physical and emotional agony. Our goal was to learn a proper meditation techniques for beginners, not think of book ideas, but on the fifth night of the course, the whole story of The Seeker came to me in a flash.
You don’t pay for food, lodging, the beautiful surroundings, teachings, even transportation to the retreat in some places, nothing. The theory behind vipassana—observing the constant state of flux your body and mind are in to realize there’s no permanent “I”—is scientific and robust. But once again, I found my mind in a similar chaos, thinking of how X or Y had failed me, remembering past humiliations, constructing elaborate future fantasies of wanting to be the world’s #1 bestselling novelist, worrying that my father was having a heart attack (he hasn’t had one in twenty years), and so on. Life indeed, as characterized by all of our experiences, is full of anguish and incompleteness.
So just sit still without focusing on breath, image etc., concentrating on nothing as it were. I am utterly confused as to what i am and anything i do with this feeling seems to me a waste of time if i do not what i am and why i am doing anything at all.
In this space, I share my attempts to live a Yogic life in the heart of the material world. For example, when something goes wrong you automatically react with anger, stress, anxiety, etc.
I have never even done a yoga class, so sitting on the floor for 13 hours a day hurt…a lot!
In gaining a sharper focus and removing distractions you inadvertently become aware of the clutter in your brain.
After another two days of sitting in pain with my brain shouting at me, the aches softened and the voices fell silent.
In fact, the teacher discussed how organised religions can harm your self-development (but that’s a much longer discussion). So, while I won’t be joining an ashram anytime soon, I will be implementing the meditation technique in my ongoing daily life.
Using an entertaining blend of applied Social Psychology and Buddhist Philosophy, the articles provide a unique perspective on modern relationships. So much so, that when I went to sleep at night, sometimes I would see ants walking infront of my vision! Many days did I ponder this game, yearning to play again, and also examining WHY this tremendous urge was still there.
A lifetime of built up suffering is a powerful burden, which we must all carry, but at least I can now carry it with a deeper level of acceptance, which means less hatred for the suffering I have incurred, which leads to less suffering. He spent the rest of his long life spreading this technique of meditation, known as Vipassana.
Buddha called it Dhamma, which is an outline of the natural law applied to the problem of human suffering. On the contrary, both of these paths (Kriya and Vipassana) are popular because of their wide-spread practicality for house-holders and people who have to traverse the world. A thought or insight will pop into my head, drawing wisdom again from those 10 days at the retreat. Okay, maybe I’ll get used to it in 4 days or so, but until then how do you manage to live on tea and fruit from 5pm to 8 am? Yet, I’ve completed three courses in the last ten years and am now committed to doing one each year. There’s no hard-sell to solicit donations after and no attempt to convert you into any religion or ideology. The no-nonsense, non-sectarian, non-religious video discourses expounding the science of meditation at the end of each day are a welcome relief from the soft, hippie-ish talk of “vibrations”, “chakras”, and “energy fields” in most modern meditation classes.
On the tenth day, you can talk for a few hours—and immediately you meet people who understand you better than people you’ve known all your life. And each day was still a torture, still the same mathematical calculation—“3 days over, only 70% left to go; now 50%, now 40% etc.” So much for spiritual progress! I’ve been doing it for quite sometime and on many occassions I get a slight headache-like feeling. If you learn to break these neural patterns you gain mental clarity, control and stability. And since you have absolutely no distractions (no phones, no reading or writing material, no entertainment, no speaking, no gestures and no eye contact) your brain starts to revolt. We are meant to witness this universal truth within meditation in every moment, so that we may realize experientially the wisdom of the concept. Although the sequel came out recently and I am tempted, but nothing like the urge that developed from the retreat. I attribute it to the elimination of all “noise”—chatting, reading, exercising, everything—enabling disjointed subconscious thoughts to connect into a coherent whole.  This burst of insight doesn’t happen just for tangible questions. For ten days, you’re just taught meditation techniques for beginners with complete sincerity with no expectation of return. All in all, even if you experiment with other techniques as I did after, you’ll learn the foundations of meditation that reinforce the old yoga adage that the paths are many but the truth is one.
I’m still friends with a French writer and an Indian banker I met in Vipassana in Dharamsala and Kohlapur respectively.
I say headache-like and not headache because its not really painful but feels more like a pressure. One of my collegaues in my workplace does Vipassana every year, and I have a few friends as well. It’s like trying to listen to 15 people shout at you all at the same time, except all of these people are you. Anyway, want to say that Vipassana really works, my worse problem dissolved after these 10 days, this is really therapeutic time, when we can leave our heads and just go into our body. After my next vipassana course in Kohlapur six months later, I quit drinking and became a vegetarian for good. The dhamma humbles you, turns you into a monk with a begging bowl, grateful for whatever’s given, not judging or expecting something from every transaction.
A Krishna-Bhakt from Slovenia I met in vipassana in Italy became an inspiration for one of my favorite characters in The Seeker.
The mental agitation one feels in the silence is counter- balanced by the growing knowledge that a state of complete bliss exists. I hadn’t been thinking of diet explicitly but somewhere deep down I’d been bothered by my drinking for years.
Others have drifted in and out of touch but left a glimmer of a memory behind in a way few people do.
Recently, Ive started just observing the hollow space in my head and concentrating on that.

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